My friend Nancy Wofford wrote this devotional and I wanted to share it with all of you as I found it relevant and helpful. Enjoy.
I read a story recently about two boys who went visiting early one January. They lived out in the country, and only a large pond separated their home from their neighbor’s. Ordinarily, they would have to walk around the pond, but since it was frozen, they decided to go across. Everything was fine until they got to the middle of the pond where a large crack ran across the ice. The older boy could easily have stepped across it, but not his little brother. Knowing this, the older boy knelt down on the ice, and placed his knees on one side of the crack and his hands on the other. Then he told his brother to climb across his back to get to the other side.
I try not to tell stories that should come with the disclaimer, “don’t try this at home!” But I can’t get this image out of my head. It’s a picture of our life togeher, isn’t it? Our journey is frequently interrupted with cracks and brokenness. Some of them may be easy enough to step over, but many are not and help is needed. That is when we discover as the child in the story did, we are best able to help others across the cracks and broken places of life when we are on our knees.
Eugene Peterson provides this translation of Ephesians 6:13-18 in The Message:
“Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”
That’s my prayer for us today: that we ask Christ to open them to the needs in us and around us and the amazing resources God gives us to meet them. Let us pray for one another: for those who are ill, those caring for the ill, those closing the doors on their business, those looking for a job … or second job, those with dreams deferred and hopes on hold … let us take a knee for them till they get to the other side. Amen.